Friday, January 18, 2008

Why I Need to Know What I Need

Yesterday, I posted my survivor's meme, OK - I Give! Here's My Survivor's Meme and it occurred to me that these change from time to time depending on how I'm feeling and what kind of stress I am under. Keeping track of those changes and how my needs change is an important part of keeping myself on track.

I've known for years that part of keeping my self esteem up is related to how well I am doing at recognizing what my needs and wants might be, as well as what I do with that information. It isn't enough to just acknowledge them. It is important to be doing what I can to see that my needs are being met.

If I am not taking care of my needs, then I am not taking good care of myself. If I'm not taking good care of myself, my self esteem will suffer. From there it is a downward spiral. How far I go is directly dependant on how long it takes me to get back on track paying attention to my needs.

What that means to me is that I need to make a regular point of taking my emotional temperature. I need to review my needs and see if they have changed. I need to do what I can to see to it that I am on track at getting those needs met.

I know if I feel depressed (not that deep black hole stuff - just normal I"m a little low stuff) I need to look at those needs and maybe even make some adjustments to accommodate whatever has caused a funk in the first place. Sometimes it's an outside source and sometimes it's me, but either way going back over those needs and filling them always brings back up.

On the list of needs I posted in the meme, there were numerous references to horses. Obviously, that wouldn't be a need for a lot of folks and some might not even understand "why" that is such a big focus for me when the meme asked specifically to keep the needs geared towards being a survivor. But for me, horses are a big part of being able to keep myself on track and going in a positive direction.

Over the last two months, I have been pretty sick. Not with anything life threatening but sick enough to keep an "old bird" like me down. During this time, I have had little if any contact with my horses. Believe me I hit a pretty darn big funk over this!

I knew I couldn't go out to be with the horses because it made me feel worse physically but not doing so really threatens my centeredness. I compromised as much as I could by working on things in the house that are good for my horse business. Not one on one contact with the amazing creatures who feed my soul, but definitely a help towards this dream of mine. It was better than nothing.

I had to keep reminding myself, that I would be better off working at the computer than pushing myself to go to the barn. The few times I did push, I actually relapsed rather quickly so I didn't have to worry about big arguments from littles inside. Reminding them that pushing it was only going to make it an even longer time before I get to go back to work with the horses stopped inner arguments.

My point is not about me and the horses but about what I needed to do because of how this affects my system. I had to really rethink what my usual needs are. I had to find some things to do to help me deal with the fact that I couldn't spend time with my horses.

One of the things I did was went through all of my horse pictures and put them into chronological order. That was a huge task but getting a chance to see baby pictures of some of these grown horses did bring a smile to my face. Those pictures helped stir up some memories that are really good ones for us. That was helpful too.

Other things on my list had to be modified as well. I needed more sleep time. Had to allow time for a nap or two or three, depending on the day. I changed my diet some to accommodate how I was feeling. And I spent more time on the phone talking horses to friends. I adjusted to meet my current needs.

Next week those needs may have changed again. Who knows where they'll be in a year. The one thing I know for sure is that if I find myself having a hard time because of flashbacks, a financial setback, or lousy weather etc, the first thing I will do is figure out what my needs are so I can begin finding ways to fill them.


katy said...

yes are needs do need to be changed depending on where we are in our life and of what is happening to us.
i have done my needs x

jumpinginpuddles said...

we have another blog up

Kahless said...

Hi RR,
I agree...
I did write them last night with a bit of liquor running through my veins so today I do see the list as different. But as you say, hey we can change them!

Enola said...

What a good point. I need to go back to my needs today and find a "pick-me-up"

Kahless said...

A random question...

will your ook have practical exercises in it?

Kahless said...

I meant Book,
the b's on my keyboard are a it random too!

Rising Rainbow said...

katy, yes, they can change in a matter of minutes sometimes depending on what life throws our way.

thanks for playing along.

jip, thanks for letting me know.

kahless, I won't tell if you don't lol

enola, and that sooooooo my point, when you need a pick me up is exactly the right time to look for what you need and see that you get it.

kahless, LOL oh my book, my book what a project that will be. I wish I had as much confidence as you that I will get through it.

It will be my journey through my "real" therapy from the point of "bodies in the woods" through to the final memory that kept me locked away in the deep dark pit.

There will probably be exercises there that I came across in that journey but the focus of the book will be the process and the things that made that process necessary.

That doesn't mean at sometime later I will not write a book utilizing all the things I have learned and maybe even practical exercises.

Kahless said...

I have confidence, well I know, that you will write a good book that people will read and find of value.
I guess its up to you whether you manage to 'type' it out. Its definately within you.

Rising Rainbow said...

Thanks for the vote of confidence. It's not that I don't think I can do it, it's that I don't really have the time. There are other things more important to my sanity than this book.

I keep hoping that I will find an editor or a publisher to pick my book up. That way I can take the time I need to write, instead of having to work other ways to make money. It sucks that money is the issue but it is.

Anonymous said...

Horses are very grounding I find, if I didn't have my girl I don't think I'd get out of bed :-)

They definately lift my depression.
Thanks for visiting my blog btw

Artsy Etc. said...

Thank you for visiting my blog and the interesting comments. Have a great Sunday.

keepers said...

realizing our needs can change and be reevaluated is necessary for us to keep on top of everything going on around us, so we can optimize what we are doing and where we are headed, good common sense approach here in our opinion

peace and blessings


Flea said...

Digging your blog. Do you have a time line for your book? And end date when you'd like to be done? Sounds like it will be quite helpful.

Thanks for popping by my blog. Yes, parenting is hard. :) But I have the feeling that it ends all too quickly.

Everymatter said...

nice article about yourself and planning of system of self.

Marj aka Thriver said...

Great idea to go back and look at those needs again. What an aware and healing post. Yes, I agree that our needs are always changing, depending on how we feel, what's going on in our lives, and how much healing is happening.

Using this practice as a baramoter and then acting appropriately is a healthy thing! Way to go!